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We just returned from our cruise to Cuba aboard the Fathom Adonia. I’ll be posting reviews of the ship and our experiences in Cuba, but I wanted to post some tips of how Americans can travel to Cuba. This is current as of Oct 14, 2016.
Upon our return, My Vacation Lady received an email request for a specific beach resort outside of Havana, Cuba. My response was, that American citizens can not currently travel to Cuba for a beach vacation. Travel has to fit one of 12 categories in order to get a visa to Cuba, according to the Unites States State Department Website:
Travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains prohibited, and U.S. federal regulations restrict travel to Cuba to licensed travelers engaged in certain specified activities. In January 2015, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued general licenses in the 12 categories of travel authorized by law, meaning that those travelers who qualify under these licenses do not need to wait for U.S. government approval in order to travel. If one’s travel does not qualify for a general license, individuals would need to apply for a specific license.
The categories that will legally allow you to travel to Cuba without a special license are:
- Religious activities in Cuba
- Humanitarian projects in Cuba
- Journalistic activities in Cuba
- Family visits to close relatives in Cuba
- Educational activities in Cuba for schools
- Professional research or meetings
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic competitions or exhibitions
- Activities in Cuba by private foundations or research/educational institutes
- Exportation, importation or the transmission of information technologies or materials
- Authorized export transactions of agricultural, medical, tools, equipment or construction supplies for private use
- Official business of the US or foreign governments
- Support for the Cuban people
What is NOT permitted is tourist travel (like a beach resort vacation).
Will that change? Probably but not right now.
Watch for more to come on Cuba in the next few blog posts. In the meantime, here are a couple of our favorite pictures:
If you are looking for a people to people exchange vacation or cruise to Cuba, give us a call or send us an email and we can help you plan your trip to Cuba. Get there before it changes! That’s what we did!